Grateful Dead Live at Springer's Inn on 1969-05-30
d1t01 - Morning Dew
d1t02 - Me And My Uncle
d1t03 - Doin' That Rag
d1t04 - I'm A King Bee
d1t05 - Dark Star ->
d1t06 - Cosmic Charlie
d2t01 - St. Stephen ->
d2t02 - The Eleven ->
d2t03 - Turn On Your Lovelight
-- Disc change is seamless
-- There are a few minor tape problems in Morning Dew
-- Missing first few seconds of Me And My Uncle
-- Short spot of diginoise in Doin' That Rag
-- Tape flip in Cosmic Charlie (not too bad)
-- Turn On Your Lovelight is cut
Subject: A real oddity
The RS article is terrible. What a hack! What a bunch of pretentious pseudo-literate bullshit! Lucretius? Really? My kingdom for an Advil! Reads like a cross between a football play-by-play and Carlos Castaneda. Why don't you just say "I took drugs and it was fun." But people liked that kind of writing back then. Nowadays George Bush's speechwriter wouldn't piss on it if it was on fire. I'd rather read Dupree's Diamond News.
Hot, HOT King Bee.
Dark Star is so gorgeous you could eat it up with a spoon - gold and silver showering everywhere - rich, woven, crashing percussion...the rest of this show is definitely unique, but in this case it doesn't mean terminally odd....to wit:
*Cosmic Charlie, with a bunch o' weird drums right in the middle, out of Dark Star? Gimme gimme!
*They take St. Stephen out for a 5-minute walk before beginning the vocals
*is it just me, or are Billy and Mickey really, *really* miked up tonight? You can hear every tiny cymbal hit...
*Lovelight has Bobby or someone completely out of control on the mic...Pig keeps it lively, but it is a real shame this thing is cut. Here's hopin' for some kind of patch. CM did wonders with what we have, though.
Really do check this out. I love finding hidden sleepers like this.
Subject: bob weir is a golden god
This is nothing more or less than a quintessential Grateful Dead show from 1969, with all the bells and warts that you'd expect and a few that you'd never expect. It's shows like this that almost (note: almost!) make me want to cast aside those Fillmore shows from February 69 as "too serious."
Morning Dew is great but it might be the least interesting/exceptional of all the songs here.
Me and My Uncle smokes. These early versions are all interesting but Jerry performs some of his best ever string-bending feats here. Who needs a pedal steel when you can play like that?
The version of Doin That Rag is righteous. It teeters into shredding as they approach the vocal coda which is exactly what it should do.
The Dark Star is super groovy with a minimum amount of space or deep weirdness, almost more of a fall 68 feeling except that Bobby's chops are noticeably thicker and more assertive. It sounds as it was Bobby who made the awesome call for Cosmic Charlie out of the Star.
The St. Stephen is notable for a tempo that seems relatively laid back for this time period and a beautiful intro jam lasting 5:01 (!) which I'm assuming is the longest ever instrumental intro to this song (pretty sure Jerry broke another string so nearly all of that five minutes is just Bobby and Phil and the rhythm section romping through the universe).
The Eleven rocks. All killer, no filler. Seems to me there is a splice right at the transition into Lovelight although I don't think much is missing from either song.
The Lovelight is ... cut. That's unfortunate because what's here is pretty great (in addition to Weir's white noise vocal contributions, check out the peak around 16:30-16:50 for a taste of where the band's heads were at). On the other hand, your ears can deduce from what remains that a major part of this performance is lost forever to time ... unless someone comes up with some film footage (dont' hold your breath). Pig was known to dance around a bit and there are moments when you can hear the crowd reacting to something they are seeing, rather than hearing.
The sound quality is excellent overall but I wonder if a revisitation by Charlie (or whoever) and the application of "new technology" wouldn't improve things even further. It's been 7 years at least and this is the only copy of this phenomenal show in the Archive as of April 22 2015.
Subject: Show review from RS 40
"The dance is at Springer's Inn, about 10 miles out of town, and they start out about 9:30.
A mile from the place there is a huge traffic jam on the narrow country road, and they stick
the cars in a ditch and walk, a few fragments in the flow to Springer's under a full yellow moon.
The last time they played Portland they were at a ballroom with a spring floor that made
dancing inevitable. But Springer's is just as nice. It's a country and western place, walls all
knotty pine, and beside the stage, the Nashville stars of the last 30 years grin glossily
from autographed photos, "Yours Sincerely, Marty Robbins." "Love to Y'all, Norma Jean."
"Warmest regards, Jim Reeves." "You got an even bigger crowd than Buck Owens," says
the promoter, and Jerry grins. It is sardine, ass to ass, and drippingly hot inside.
It seems preordained to be a great night. But preordination is not fate. It comes to the elect,
and the elect have to work to be ready for it. So the Dead start out working. Elation will come later.
Morning Dew opens the set, an old tune, done slow and steady. It is the evenings foundation stone,
and they carefully mortice it into place, no smiles, no frills. Phil's bass is sure and steady.
Bill and Mickey play almost in unison. Then Bob sings Me and My Uncle, a John Phillips tune,
with a country rocking beat. They all like the song, and Bob sings it well, friendly and ingenuous.
Back to the groove with Doin' that rag, but a little looser this time. Jerry's guitar begins to sing,
and over the steady drumming of Bill, Mickey lays scattered runs, little kicks, and sudden attacks.
Phil begins to thunder, then pulls back. Patience, he seems to be saying, and he's right.
Jerry broke a string in his haste, so they pull back to unison, and end the song. But Jerry wants it bad,
and is a little angry. "I broke a string", he shouts at the crowd. "So why don't you wait a minute
and talk to each other. Or maybe talk to yourself, to your various selves."
He cocks his head, with a glint of malice in his eyes,
"Can you talk to yourself? Do you even know, you have selves to talk to?"
The questions, involute and unanswerable, push the crowd back;
Who is this guy, asking us riddles, what does he want from us anyway?
But the band is into, I'm a King Bee, by that time. They hadn't played that for a while,
but it works, another building block, and a good way to work Pig into the center, to seduce him into
giving his all, instead of just waiting around for Lovelight. Jerry buzzes a while, right on schedule,
and the crowd eases up, thinking they were going to get some nice blues. The preceding band
had been a good imitation BB King, so maybe it would be a blues night. Wrong again.
"Play the blues," shouts someone in a phony half-swoon. Mickey shouts back, "go hear a blues band
if you want that. Go dig Mike Bloomfield." Another punch in the mouth, but the moment is there,
and the audiences stunned silence just makes the opening gong of Dark Star more ominous.
In that silence music begins, steady and pulsing. Jerry, as always, takes the lead, feeling his way
for melodies, like paths up the mountain. Jerry, says Phil, is the heart of the Dead. It's central sun.
While they all connect to one another, the strongest bonds are to him. Standing there, eyes closed,
chin bobbing forward, his guitar in close under his arm, he seems pure energy, a quality like,
but distinct from, sexuality, which, while radiating itself outward and unceasingly, and unselfishly,
is as unceasingly and unselfishly replenished by those whose strengths have been awakened by his.
He finds a way, a few high twinging notes that are in themselves a song, and then the others are there too,
and suddenly the music is not notes, or a tune, but what those seven people are, exactly. The music
is an aural holograph of the Grateful Dead. All their fibers, nuances, histories, desires, beings are clear.
Jerry and his questing. Phil the loyal comrade. Tom drifting beside them both on a cloud.
Pig staying stubbornly down to earth. Mickey working out furious complexities trying to understand
how Bill is so simple. And Bob succumbing inevitably to Jerry and Phil and joining them.
And that is just the beginning, because at at each note, at each phrase, the balances change, each testing,
feeding, mocking, and finally driving one another on, further and further on.
Some balances last longer than others. Moments of realization that seem to sum up many moments,
and then a solid groove of, "yes, that is the way it is" flows out, and the crowd begins to move.
Each time it is Jerry who leads them out, his guitar singing and dancing joy. And his joy finds new levels,
and the work of exploration begins again.
Jerry often talks of music coming from a place, and creating a place, a place where strife is gone,
where the struggle to understand ends, and knowledge is as evident as light. That is the place
they are in at Springers. However hard it is to get there, once there, you want to cry tears of ease,
and never leave. It is not a new place. Those who seek it hard enough, can find it.
Like the poet Lucretius, who found it about 2500 years ago;
"All terrors of the mind, vanish, are gone, the barriers of the world, dissolve before me, and I see things happen,
all through the void of empty space. I feel more than mortal pleasure in all of this."
The music goes fast and slow, driving and serene, loud and soft. Mickey switches from going to drums,
to claves, to handclapping, to xylophone, to a tin slide whistle. The Bob grabs that away and steps to a mic,
and blows the whistle as hard as he can flicking away insanely high and screeching notes. The band digs it,
and lays down a building rhythm. The crowd begins to pant, shake and then suddenly, right on the exact moment
with the band, the crowd, the band, everything in the whole goddamn place begins to scream.
Not scream like at the Beatles, but scream like beasts, twisting their faces, trying out every possible
animal yowl that lies deep in their hearts.
Jerry, melodies flowing from him like endless arabesques, leads it away again, the crowd, and himself,
ecstatic rats to some unseen pied piper. The tune changes from Dark Star, to St. Stephen, the song
with a beat like bouncing boulders, and out of the din comes Jerry's wavering voice, "One man gathers
what another man spills," and everyone knows what that means, that there's nothing to fear, brothers will
help one another with their loads, and suddenly there is peace in the hall. Phil, Bob and Bill form a trio,
and play a new and quiet song, before Mickey's sudden roll opens it out to the group, and St. Stephen
crashes to an end with the cannon shot, and clouds of sulfurous smoke.
Out of the fire and brimstone emerges the Pig, singing Lovelight, and everyone is through the mind
and down into the body. Pigpen doesn't sing. Pigpen never sings. He is just Pig, being Pig, doing Lovelight.
Spitting out the side of his mouth between phrases. Starting the clapping. Telling everybody to get their hands
out of their pockets, and into somebody else's pockets, and like laughter, the band comes in with rock-it-to-em choruses.
The crowd is jumping up and down in witness by this time, and one couple falls on stage, their bodies,
and tongues entwined in mad ritual embrace. They don't make love, but in acting it out, they perform
for and with the crowd, and so everyone is acting out sexual unison with Pigpen as the master of ceremonies.
The place, one body, built in music, fucks until it comes, the cannon goes off one final time, and Mickey
leaps to the gong, bashing it with a mallet set afire by the cannon, and it makes a trail of flame, and then
sparks when it hits the gong, the gong itself radiating waves of sonic energy. Bill flails at the drums,
Phil keeps playing the same figure over and over, faster and faster, and Jerry and Bob build up to one note
just below the tonic, hold it until, with one ultimate chord, it all comes home. The crowd erupts in cheers,
as the band, sodden with sweat, stumbles off the stage.
"We'll be back folks" says Jerry. "We'll be back after a break." Bob laughs as he hears Jerrys announcement.
"It's really something when you have to lie to get off the stage." Because it's over, gone, wiped out.
They gather by the equipment van, and all but Tom, still cool and unruffled, are steaming in the chill night air.
The moon has gone down, the stars are out, and there is nothing more to be done that night at all."
In my humble opinion, this is a show for the ages. Thank you.
Subject: Fun, Phun
Due to the low ceiling the lights were in their faces...Pig pen called us out on it.
During break Jerry invited me to the u-haul and gave me my first taste of nitrous and afterwards I understood more clearly where they were at and all went swell.
Subject: Interview Link (abridged)
Subject: Good amount of stage banter
The recording is excellent - thank you Charlie Miller! You can hear some hiss, but it's 1969, and I didn't notice after a minute or two.
The stand-out tracks for me were Doin that Rag and The Eleven, but I don't want to impose my taste on you - have a listen for yourself! Or your selves... Or maybe it's your self-es... Nice to hear the stage banter. I wonder how the songs would have been different if Jerry hadn't broken all those strings?
Thanks to everyone who make it possible for me to hear this.
Subject: Giving the Dead a ride after the show, with groovy tires!
We watched a great show, danced till it hurt & danced some more.
Since we were one of the first vehicles to get there, we would be one of the last to leave. As I'm starting to back out of my parking spot, the whole band, with their girlfriends, are walking by.
I joking say,as I'm leaning out my window "Hey Jerry, you need a lift?" & to my surprise, he answers " Why yes, our van is parked about a mile up the road".
I was driving my 1940 Chev Sedan Delivery, with running boards along the side. The band & the girls climbed inside or on the running boards & we made it very slowly thru the crowd to their vehicles.
When the group was getting out, Pigpen pointed out to me that with all the weight from everyone, my fenders had been riding on the new tires in the back. Of course I told him that it was fine because I had just had the whole band in my 40 Chev & would have those memoirs with me the rest of my life.
Subject: Springer's Inn long gone
Subject: St Stephen
The sound quality is superior for a '69 recording. Highly recommended!
Subject: The GRATEFUL DEAD "Live" May 5, 1969 Springer's Inn, Portland, Oregon U.S.A.
Wonderful 1969 Soundboard. Thank you Charlie Miller!
5 for the mix
5 for the recording
5 for the performance
I highly recommend this show for your 1969 GRATEFUL DEAD collection.
DARK STAR - Lively performance. Garcia sounds like he's playing his Gibson SG. Classic 1969 sound.
DARK STAR into COSMIC CHARLIE into ST. STEPHEN into THE ELEVEN into TURN ON YOUR LOVELIGHT.
Download this show, you've never heard "this" before.
01. Morning Dew - 9:45
02. Me and My Uncle - 3:00
03. Doin That Rag - 8:14
04. I'm A King Bee - 9:02
05. Dark Star> - 17:03
06. Cosmic Charlie> - 6:17
07. St. Stephen> - 9:12
08. The Eleven> - 12:33
09. Turn On Your Lovelight - 17:33
Typical bootleg, TOYLL cuts off because the tape runs out. Watch out for the "screamer" during TOYLL.
A wild and crazy show from May 1969. LSD had not been illegal for very long when this show was performed. It's possible there were a few individuals with altered states of consciousness at this show, on stage and off.
I'd call it a "Must Have" show for 1969. I got it, you should too.
Eat, Drink be Merry and Listen to the GRATEFUL DEAD.
Thanks for the love.
PS: Click on Charlie Miller's name and get all his GRATEFUL DEAD shows, he has impeccable taste.
Subject: Where the heck did this come from?
There is some slight hiss, but Charlie has done an excellent job, as per usual, and the sound/mix quality here is superior to many '69 files.
The seventeen minute Dark Star gets a slow start, but Jer turns the intensity up halfway through and the band carries the momentum through the remainder of the action. Four and 1/2 bones for freshness!
It's a brave new world!
Subject: Magical Show